Pubdate: Sun, 08 Dec 2002
Source: Kansas City Star (MO)
Copyright: 2002 The Kansas City Star
Author: James S. Rice


The face of Cecil Gandy smiles from the front page of The Star (11/24, 
"When the county jail is packed, a computer makes the call"). Gandy, with a 
26-page rap sheet, 98 convictions, with four outstanding burglary warrants, 
out of jail again, and again within days or hours of being arrested because 
the jails are full.

You can be sure that part of what lies behind Gandy's smile is the 
knowledge he can continue his behavior with nothing to fear. The law cannot 
stop him because the legal system is bogged down with the war on drugs. 
Courts are overloaded and jails are overcrowded with nonviolent drug 
offenders who are no threat to anyone.

Drugs can cause addiction, poor health and early death. Drug laws cause 
crime. If drug prohibition were repealed, the massive resources spent on 
the war on drugs could be directed to the likes of Gandy.

As a longstanding advocate of ending drug prohibition, I do not want to be 
misunderstood as advocating drug use. I do advocate the highest level of 
freedom and self-responsibility that I can envision.

Drug use has its own penalty, imposed by the irrevocable uncompromising 
laws of nature: addiction, failing health and, finally, death. That is enough.

James S. Rice

Kansas City
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